Hoser books force reversal of Victorian government
16th November 2000.
After ten years of holding out – the Victorian State Government
has buckled under pressure and decided to introduce video cameras in all
These are known to cut crime against taxi drivers by up
Not only that, but they are effective in cutting out most
vexatious complaints against taxi drivers by disgruntled fare evaders and
The Victorian Taxi Directorate (VTD) under Terry O’Keefe
and more recently a new director had up until now refused point blank to
introduce these cameras into cabs.
O’Keefe and his subordinates routinely pursued allegations
against taxi drivers they knew to be false comfortable in the knowledge
that they wouldn’t have to risk being faced with the indelible evidence
provided by these cameras. As a result numerous cabbies now carry convictions
for things they never did.
It’s also a matter of public record that O’Keefe has had
many a brougha in cabs with drivers he’s abused when over drunk or simply
just plain angry.
Late last month the books Taxi
and Taxi – 2 by Raymond Hoser hit the
streets. The books detailed the brutal murders of cab drivers in Melbourne
and had a series of photos with the bold caption "Fact: cab cameras
Besieged with cabbies and news journalists asking the
Minister Peter Batchelor to "please explain" the VTD’s continuing
refusal to introduce the security cameras, Batchelor had no choice but
to force a back-down by his department.
However the department’s action was too late for one cabbie,
Cameron Rudd, 33, of Cranbourne, who was shot while in his taxi just yesterday.
Author Raymond Hoser said "Rudd missed out on the
security these cameras could have given him. If the VTD had taken my advice
ten years earlier, Rudd and others may still be with us".
Hoser said "I’m happy to have been vilified and harassed
by the VTD over this matter if it means just one more taxi driver gets
to keep his life … and if it means that criminals can no longer look upon
cab drivers as an easy target".
A number of other cabbies suggested that Hoser should
receive a knighthood for his efforts, but as he has a British passport
that is unlikely.
Meanwhile the Taxi books
continue to be in high demand with some shops finding difficulty in keeping
up with demand.
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